Donald Trump found that renting space in his own building suddenly became a lot more expensive once other people were footing the bill. According to a Huffington Post report published Monday night, the Trump campaign jacked up the rent on its Trump Tower headquarters almost 500% once he started raising money from donors, as opposed to when his campaign was self-financed.
In March of this year, when Trump was shelling out his own money, he paid Trump Tower Commercial LLC $35,458 in rent for his campaign headquarters. But in July, once he was raising money from outside sources, the rent went up to $169,758—despite the fact that he actually had 25 fewer staffers at the time.
HuffPo goes on to report that since Trump made a joint-fundraising deal with the Republican National Committee in May, he has had a lot more expensive campaign events on his own property. On the very day the deal was announced, the campaign paid Trump-related businesses over $190,000.
Since May of this year, Trump's personal share of his campaign budget has gone from 75% to almost nothing. The fact that the switch coincides with him charging the campaign a lot more for the use of his own properties has alarmed many commentators.
The Trump campaign provided a response to Complex, explaining their reasoning behind the rent hike.
We calculated the rent based on the average rent per square foot in the area. The campaign expanded from the 5th floor by adding the entirety of the 14th and 15th floors. Overall, we still pay over $40,000 less in rent than the Clinton campaign. Also, Mr. Trump makes a personal contribution of $2 million per month to the campaign, obviously a much higher amount than rent. The reports obfuscate by talking about percentages of fundraising instead of amounts.